JURIST Legal News

JURIST's legal news service, powered by a team of over 40 law student reporters and editors led by Professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
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A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District Court of California [official website] agreed Tuesday to reconsider his ruling [opinion, PDF] blocking President Donald Trump's executive order that cuts funding from so-called "sanctuary cities." In his opinion, San Fransisco-based Judge William Orrick [official website] stated, "Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration-enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves." Orrick accepted a request from the...
The Texas Senate [official website] revived a full "bathroom bill" early Wednesday morning. In 1AM vote [AP report], the Senate voted 21-10 to attach restroom regulations to an otherwise unrelated proposal concerning county governments. The piggy-backing rules will require transgender Texans to use public restrooms that correspond to the sex identified on their birth certificates. The original bill was written by a democrat who will not accept the changes. On Sunday the House approved a similar bill [WP report] that...
Taiwan's constitutional court, the Judicial Yuan [official website], declared on Wednesday that same-sex marriages will be legally recognized. The court has given two years for the legislature to make amendments allowing same-sex marriage, and a draft of the bill [AI news] is currently being considered. Under the new legislation, same-sex couples will have the same rights as opposite-sex couples. The ruling is a first in Asia [Reuters report], a mostly socially conservative area, but Taiwan has a reputation of being...
[JURIST] The Nevada Senate [official website] voted 11-10 on Tuesday to approve a bill [text, PDF] that would allow terminally ill patients the option to end their life. The bill would allow, but does not require, doctors to prescribe [USA Today report] pharmaceuticals intended to end the patient's life. In order to be found competent, two doctors must diagnose the patient with a terminal illness and the patient must be at least 18 years of age. Those who voted in...
Ratko Mladić [BBC profile], a former Bosnian Serb commander, has filed a challenge to a UN court's rejection of his request to be sent to Russia, according to court documents [text, PDF] released Tuesday. Mladić is seeking medical attention, as he has alleged that the care he receives at The Hague is inadequate. The Hague refutes these claims and fears, that if released, Mladić would not return. Mladić was indicted on two counts of genocide in 1995. He was not...
The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] on Tuesday allowed a lawsuit [text, PDF] by Wikimedia [website] to proceed against the National Security Agency (NSA) [official website]. The suit claims that the NSA's use of Upstream violates the First and Fourth Amendments. Upstream is a surveillance program authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [materials]. In 2015 Wikimedia challenged the government's use of Upstream as it stored and reviewed some communications by Wikimedia. The appeals...
The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order, PDF] Monday in SAS Institute Inc. v. Lee [SCOTUSblog materials] on whether third parties can petition the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) [official website] to re-review issued claims and, if not patentable, cancel them. The question now is whether the re-review law requires the USPTO to issue written decisions regarding all the challenged claims, or only some of them. The issue before the court is:Whether 35 USC § 318(a), which...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC [SCOTUSblog materials] on what constitutes "residence" in the context of patent cases. The issue before the court was whether 28 USC § 1400(b) is the sole and exclusive provision governing venue in patent infringement actions and is not to be supplemented by 28 USC § 1391(c). The case centered around a previous Supreme Court decision in Fourco Glass Co. v....
South Korea's impeached president denied all charges and pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in her first court appearance at Seoul Central District Court [official website]. Former conservative party leader Park Guen-hye [BBC profile] was indicted [NYT report] on 18 charges including accepting $52 million in bribes from large corporations such as Samsung [official website]. The scandal [Guardian report] has led to the indictments of former business leaders, former cabinet ministers and senior presidential aides. Park has been living in a...
After a six-month legal dispute [text, PDF] over the right to use patents and other intellectual property, Apple and Nokia [corporate websites] reached a settlement [press release] Tuesday that covers all ends of the lawsuits filed. The suit came as a result of Apple stating that they would no longer pay to use Nokia's patents, many of which are built into Apple's miscellany of products. Apple claims that the Finnish telecommunications company is guilty of extortion while Nokia is adamant...
The Southern Poverty Law Center [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Tuesday alleging that Mississippi is failing to uphold its obligations under a federal law that enabled it to rejoin the union after the Civil War. The law required the state to create a "uniform education system of free public schools" that would serve all children, regardless of race and that no amendment could be made to the state's constitution that would undermine the requirement. Despite this, the...
A UN panel released a draft treaty [text, PDF] in Geneva on Monday that would ban the use of all nuclear weapons. States that are party to the treaty are obligated never to develop, produce, manufacture, acquire or use "any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion." The draft is supported [Guardian report] by more than 130 non-nuclear states, although none of the countries that are known to posses nuclear arms participated. Nine countries are believed to be...
Texas' Republican-controlled Senate gave final approval to a bill that would enable publicly funded foster care and adoption agencies to refuse the placement of children with non-Christian, unmarried or gay prospective parents due to religious objections. The "Freedom to Serve Children Act" [text, PDF] was passed early Monday and will now go to Governor Greg Abbott [official website] for his consideration. Senator Charles Perry of Lubbock [official website] said [AP report] that the bill does not prohibit particular groups from...
The High-Level Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents [WHO statement] released a report [text, PDF] Tuesday imploring world leaders to allocate 5 percent of their country's GDP in "public health spending," according [press release] to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website]. Tarja Halonen, former president of Finland and co-chair of the High-Level Group, said "human rights ... to health" must be recognized and protected in order to...
A Gambian court issued an order to freeze former president Yahya Jammeh's [BBC profile] remaining assets on Monday. Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said [Fatu Network, press release] that the order was "necessitated after the discovery of unlawful withdrawals" between 2006 and 2016 that possibly totaled $50 million. The order affects 131 properties, 88 bank accounts, 14 companies associated with the former president as well as a number of his livestock. Three of Jammeh's cousins were arrested [BBC report] after selling...
The Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Monday to challenge a recently passed bill [text, PDF] that they claim unlawfully targets immigrants. One provision of Senate Bill 4 (SB4) permits authorities to demand immigration or citizenship status from any individual suspected to be an undocumented person in an attempt to eliminate sanctuary cities. TCRP argues that this "show me your papers" law promotes racial and ethnic profiling and is unconstitutional. SB4 also criminally...
A trial over the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey began at a prison courtroom in Sincan on Monday. Two hundred of the 221 defendants in the case were marched into the courtroom [AA report, in Turkish] before a group of protesters, some of whom threw nooses and demanded the death penalty. Many of the protesters had lost relatives during the coup, which resulted in 240 deaths, primarily civilians. Most of the defendants are former military personnel, with ranks ranging...
UN expert on freedom of religion Ahmed Shaheed stated [press release] on Monday that Houthi de facto authorities in Yemen must end harassment against the Bahá'í [official website] community in Sana'a. Shaheed's statement was prompted by reports of increased arbitrary arrests and detentions against the Bahá'í community. In addition to demanding Bahá'í community members be released, he also said that Yemen must begin an inquiry into the disappearance of Walid Ayyash and Mahmood Humaid, who were arrested by political authorities...
The US Supreme Court held unanimously [opinion, PDF] Monday in Water Splash, Inc. v. Menon [SCOTUSblog materials] that the Hague Service Convention [text, PDF] does not prohibit service of process by mail. The purpose of The Hague Service Convention is to simplify, standardize and generally improve the process of serving documents abroad. The court analyzed the text of Article 10(a), which states, "the Convention shall not interfere with the freedom to send judicial documents, by postal channels, directly to persons...
The human rights situation in Belarus has seen a dramatic deterioration, according to a report [materials] published Monday from Miklos Haraszti, the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus. The report notes numerous instances of rights abuses, beginning with the suppression of peaceful protests in March over a law [text, PDF, in Russian] imposing a tax on people who are not employed full time in which more than 900 people were detained. Among those detained in the March protests were political opponents,...

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